VIP Cultivation Roundtable

Cultivation Roundtable Co-Chairs

David Holmes


Scott Reach

Rare Dankness and House of Dankness

About the Cultivation Roundtable at Cannabis Conference 2023:

A first-time event at Cannabis Conference 2023, the Cultivation Roundtable is a daylong educational and networking event for cultivation professionals only.* This VIP opportunity — co-chaired by longtime cultivators David Holmes, founder and CEO of Clade9, and Scott Reach, owner of Rare Dankness and House of Dankness — will be limited to 150 attendees and offers an exclusive forum for growers (indoor, greenhouse and/or outdoor) to expand their peer networks and their knowledge of advanced cultivation techniques and practices, solve the most crucial problems facing cultivators today, and find new opportunities and potential partnerships.

The Roundtable topics were carefully curated by the event Co-Chairs, with input from the Cannabis Conference 2023 Advisory Board, and designed to help growers walk away with cultivation and business insights to help them survive and thrive in the industry’s most challenging market segment and most challenging time to date.

Throughout the day, Roundtable attendees will rotate to different tables so they can learn from a variety of other cultivation professionals and meet new people! Plenty of time for additional networking is built into this one-of-a-kind opportunity, during lunch, an afternoon coffee break and a private networking reception.

Whether you own and/or manage any aspect of a cannabis cultivation operation, you will leave armed with a litany of ideas and tactics to help your businesses and careers.

The Cultivation Roundtable is available for those who register for the VIP Pass. Don’t wait to register, as seating is limited to ensure the ultimate educational and networking environment for attendees!*

*This is a special educational event for leaders and managers of growing operations. Limited to 150 attendees and to those who own or work for a company that cultivates cannabis. Registrants will be vetted by show organizers.

VIP Cultivation Roundtable Agenda
August 15, 2023
10:00 AM – 10:05 AMWelcome Remarks
Speaker: Noelle Skodzinski, Editorial Director, Cannabis Business Times/Cannabis Conference
10:05 AM – 10:25 AMCo-Chairs Kickoff: Dave Holmes and Scott Reach Share Lessons From the Trenches
Co-Chair: Dave Holmes, founder and CEO of Clade9
Co-Chair: Scott Reach, Owner, Rare Dankness and House of Dankness
10:25 AM – 10:55 AMRoundtable Discussion I: The Give & Get

Roundtable attendees are encouraged to share with their peers at their tables one hard and/or value lesson they’ve learned or something they’ve done well that has benefited their crops, teams and/or the business. Once all at the table have had the opportunity to share that, they are encouraged to go back around the table and each share one thing they need help with; those at the table are encouraged to offer brief advice or share their own solutions to help each person.

11:05 AM – 12:00 PMRoundtable Discussion II: Surviving the Downturn  

To address the most poignant topic plaguing today’s cultivation landscape, roundtable attendees will explore specific strategies they have employed to:

  • lower the cost of production/cost per gram
  • compete in a lower-margin flower market

Attendees are encouraged to share anything they have done on those two topics. Solutions can range from employing automation and streamlining production or post-harvest to reducing costs of labor and inputs to forging new partnerships and/or process or organizational/staffing changes (shifting priorities, restructuring, hiring fractional executives (e.g., CFOs. CMOs)), etc. No solution is too small to share … and the sky’s the limit!

Speaker: Lindsey Renner, Owner, Native Humboldt Farms

12:00 PM – 1:00 PMRoundtable Networking Lunch
1:00 PM – 1:45 PMRoundtable Discussion III: Integrated Pest Management Challenges & Strategies 

In Cannabis Business Times’ March 2022 “State of the Growing Environment” report, pest/disease management was the most-cited cultivation challenge among growers, with 45% of growers noting this issue as most concerning to them/their operations. Whether HpLVd, powdery mildew, mold, fusarium, mites, aphids or others, pests and diseases can kill plants and profits. In this roundtable discussion, attendees will share their strategies for:

  • Successfully preventing pests and diseases through tissue culture, seed and/or clone procurement
  • Implementing sanitation technology and best practices
  • Utilizing facility design features, workflow and environmental control to prevent the introduction and spread of pests and diseases into grow rooms
  • Establishing and using integrated pest management (IPM) standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Bio controls and pesticides/fungicide use
  • Eradicating viruses and other infectious diseases out of their facilities and/or crops
… and more.

Speaker: Josh Malman, Vice President of Cultivation Operations, Jushi

1:55 PM – 2:40 PMRoundtable Discussion IV: The Future of Genetic Selection & Breeding With a Purpose  

Attendees will explore how they have found success with genetic go-to market strategies, cultivar and breeding choices and practices, such as:

  • How to balance chasing trends (and risking missing the boat on fast movers) and differentiating yourself
  • How many varieties to keep active, how many to keep for breeding
  • Genetic preservation – how to manage the R&D process, keeping mother plants alive and best practices, genetic library, and the resources that are (pheno hunting as well)
  • Will the current trends of consumers’ search for the highest THC and color maintain over time or will the focus shift to breeding for specific end goals (e.g., disease resistance, yield, varieties that grow well in row crop formation or thrive in vertical cultivation)? 
  • What impact does (and will) the DEA’s letter clarifying that cannabis seeds containing less than 0.3% THC are classified as hemp, and therefore legal, have on the industry?

Speaker: Nicole Leitner, Breeding and Genetics Manager, Revolution Cannabis

2:40 PM – 3:10 PMRefreshment Break
3:10 PM – 3:50 PMRoundtable Discussion V: Avoiding Burnout & Labor/Hiring/Retention Challenges 

Cannabis cultivation is not for the faint of heart, and most growers will tell you that if you aren’t passionate about cultivation, you shouldn’t be doing it, as you won’t survive. For growers who own their own businesses or those running or managing cultivation operations (and/or post-harvest), in an industry that can feel like a constant uphill climb and where the pace and pressure can be fierce, what has helped you avoid burnout? And how do you help prevent your team from burning out? (Constantly hiring and training can be time-consuming and costly and prohibitive to keeping costs in line.)

This crucial roundtable discussion will explore strategies attendees have employed to:

  • Keep themselves from burning out
  • Manage expectations of their investors or bosses about what is reasonable for them to achieve in X amount of time at X scale with X resources/tools
  • Establish boundaries
  • More effectively manage their time 
  • Prioritize and delegate to alleviate their own pain points
  • Recruit the right people for what can be a monotonous and physical job
  • Recruit entry-level growers
  • Find/hire employees who align with their goals and values 
  • Keep and motivate employees (Incentives? Upward mobility? Training? Communication? Other?)   

Speaker: Kevin Kuethe, Chief Cultivation Officer, Lume Cannabis Co.

4:00 PM – 4:45 PMRoundtable Discussion VI: The Year of the Brand: How and Why It’s Essential in Today’s Cannabis Market to Build a Brand That Breeds Consumer Loyalty

Strong brands are proving to be one of, if not the most important assets a cultivation business can leverage, especially during a market downturn and as state-legal businesses continue to compete for sales with the illicit market. Plus, as cultivators look to expand into other states, brand strength can mean the difference between success and failure. Consumers have proven that they will seek out brands they love and even follow them to different dispensaries and markets. Building a brand, however, can be a complex task without knowing key elements in the process. In this roundtable discussion, growers will share and learn about:

  • What sets brands apart and makes them successful, and why brand is essential to long-term success in the evolving industry
  • Opportunities for growers to create and tap brand strength as the industry matures and consumers become more educated about premium products
  • How cultivation and post-harvest techniques and product quality play a role in brand development
  • How their peers have developed strong brands and lessons learned along the way about what works and what doesn’t work
  • How growers are using their brands to compete in the current market and to thrive in future markets
  • Options to partner with others that already have developed in-state, national and even global brand strength, and pros and cons of tapping into and leveraging these opportunities.
… and more.

Speaker: Shane McKee, Co-Founder, Shango Cannabis

4:45 PM – 5:00 PMClosing Remarks & What We Are Most Excited About
5:00 PM – 6:30 PMPrivate Networking Reception

Event Takes Place In